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H.Res. 1106: Expressing support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, its member states, and the United States-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC, and reaffirming the commitment of the United States to continue to remain a strong, reliable, and active partner to ASEAN in the Indo-Pacific.


The text of the resolution below is as of May 11, 2022 (Introduced).


IV

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 1106

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 11, 2022

(for himself, Mrs. Wagner, Mr. Bera, and Mr. Meeks) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

RESOLUTION

Expressing support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, its member states, and the United States-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC, and reaffirming the commitment of the United States to continue to remain a strong, reliable, and active partner to ASEAN in the Indo-Pacific.

Whereas the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (referred to in this resolution as ASEAN) was established in 1967 to accelerate the economic growth, social progress, and cultural development of its member states, and to promote peace and stability in Southeast Asia;

Whereas the United States has been an ASEAN Dialogue Partner since 1977, and acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in 2009;

Whereas the United States appointed its first Ambassador to ASEAN in 2008, and was the first ASEAN Dialogue Partner to establish a permanent mission to ASEAN in 2010;

Whereas United States-ASEAN dialogue relations were elevated to the strategic level in 2015, and the United States hosted the United States-ASEAN Special Leaders Summit in Sunnylands, California, in 2016;

Whereas the United States will host the first United States-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC, on May 12 and 13, 2022, demonstrating the enduring commitment of the United States to ASEAN;

Whereas considered as a group, the 10 ASEAN member states have a combined gross domestic product of $3,200,000,000,000 and are projected to be the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2030;

Whereas ASEAN states are the top destination for United States foreign direct investment in the Indo-Pacific, with the cumulative total of $328,000,000,000, exceeding the combined amount invested in China, India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea;

Whereas ASEAN is the fourth-largest destination for United States goods and exports, with annual volume exceeding $122,000,000,000, exports to ASEAN support 625,000 jobs in all 50 States;

Whereas the United States has provided support to the ASEAN Single Window to enhance trade facilitation and customs procedures across the ASEAN economic community;

Whereas the United States-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership, launched in 2018, harnesses the expertise of the United States Government and private sector to address the challenges of rapid urbanization and create smart, sustainable cities in cooperation with the 26 cities participating in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network;

Whereas the Mekong-United States Partnership, launched in 2020, builds on the work of the Lower Mekong Initiative to encourage equitable growth in the Lower Mekong region of Southeast Asia in cooperation through improved governance, increased capacity to manage natural resources, sustainable infrastructure, nontraditional security, and health security;

Whereas the Japan-United States Mekong Power Partnership supports the Mekong region’s integration and cross-border electricity trade, leveraging the joint capabilities the United States and its partners and underscoring the shared desire to forge stronger ties with the Lower Mekong region;

Whereas the United States has cooperated with ASEAN member states and provided emergency health assistance to enhance the resilience of ASEAN states throughout the COVID–19 pandemic building on more than $3,500,000,000 invested by the United States in ASEAN public health initiatives over the last 20 years;

Whereas the United States announced the intent to provide up to $102,000,000 in new initiatives expanding our partnership with ASEAN during the October 26, 2021, United States-ASEAN summit, encompassing cooperation on public health, economic development, resilience and sustainability, and education;

Whereas the United States and ASEAN have robust people-to-people ties, with at least 7,600,000 Americans identifying with an ASEAN ethnicity and at least 110 sister relationships between cities and States in the United States and States and localities;

Whereas, in 2019, 4,800,000 Americans visited an ASEAN country and 1,300,000 people from an ASEAN country visited the United States, contributing nearly $8,000,000,000 in tourism revenue to the United States economy;

Whereas more than 55,000 students from an ASEAN country studied in the United States during the 2019 to 2020 academic year;

Whereas over 12,700 scholars from ASEAN states have participated in the Fulbright program since its founding in 1949, and more than 6,800 students from the United States have participated in Fulbright programs in ASEAN countries;

Whereas the United States Government launched the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative in 2013 to empower emerging entrepreneurs and civil society leaders to contribute to social and economic development in their communities;

Whereas the United States has engaged ASEAN on transnational security issues including maritime security, counterterrorism, and law enforcement cooperation on transnational crime and trafficking in persons through ASEAN-convened mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus, the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime, and East Asia Summit;

Whereas the United States and ASEAN held their first maritime exercise in 2019;

Whereas the United States and ASEAN have cooperated on emerging issues such as cybersecurity through fora such as the ASEAN-United States Cyber Policy Dialogue, launched in 2019;

Whereas the United States has robust bilateral security partnerships with many ASEAN states, including alliances with the Philippines and Thailand;

Whereas 6 ASEAN militaries partner with the National Guard of 4 States through the National Guard State Partnership Program;

Whereas friends must be honest about challenges as well as working together on their strengths;

Whereas the Burmese Armed Forces conducted an illegitimate and illegal coup in 2021, usurped the democratic Government of Burma, detained thousands of civilians, killed hundreds of citizens, and displaced more than 440,000 people;

Whereas the Burmese junta has failed to make meaningful progress on ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus or receive official recognition from ASEAN;

Whereas the United States remains concerned about democratic backsliding and the erosion of protections of fundamental human rights in Southeast Asia;

Whereas the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States and the ASEAN outlook on the Indo-Pacific both emphasize common principles, including an inclusive and open regional architecture based on the rule of law, good governance, and respect for international law, and that shared vision is a strong basis for closer relations and continued cooperation towards a free and open Indo-Pacific; and

Whereas the February 2022 Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States stated: The United States…welcomes a strong and independent ASEAN that leads in Southeast Asia. We endorse ASEAN centrality and support ASEAN in its efforts to deliver sustainable solutions to the region’s most pressing challenges.: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

welcomes official representatives from the Governments of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to attend the first United States-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC;

(2)

supports the comprehensive strengthening of the United States-ASEAN Strategic Partnership in line with the ASEAN Community Pillars, with the aim of upgrading United States-ASEAN dialogue relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership;

(3)

supports the decision of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to invite nonpolitical representatives from Burma to high-level ASEAN events;

(4)

calls for the swift and complete implementation of the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus on Myanmar, decided on April 24, 2021;

(5)

urges the immediate cessation of violence in Burma, constructive and inclusive dialogue with all political stakeholders, access for humanitarian aid and organizations and full respect for human rights, including release of persons unjustly detained;

(6)

urges the United States-ASEAN Special Summit to prioritize—

(A)

the pursuit of a robust economic agenda; and

(B)

good governance, the rule of law, and human rights and address the trend of democratic backsliding in Southeast Asia, including the 2021 coup in Burma;

(7)

calls on the administration to promptly nominate a qualified individual to serve as the Ambassador to ASEAN to facilitate diplomatic engagement with ASEAN countries, and to maintain continued commitment to high-level representation at the East Asia Summit and other ASEAN forums;

(8)

supports efforts to enhance integration and unity within ASEAN, and build new partnerships between ASEAN and other partners of the United States in the region, including Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, the European Union, Taiwan, and India;

(9)

urges ASEAN to build capacity for the promotion and protection of human rights by ASEAN member states and the implementation of related priorities, programs, and activities;

(10)

calls on ASEAN to reaffirm its commitment, consistent with the ASEAN Charter and Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, and to call for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine;

(11)

acknowledges the governments of ASEAN member states that have fully upheld and implemented all United Nations Security Council resolutions and international agreements with respect to nuclear and ballistic missile programs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and encourages all other ASEAN member states to do the same;

(12)

urges ASEAN member states and other states in the region, such as the People’s Republic of China, to addressing maritime and territorial disputes in a peaceful manner, in accordance with customary international law, using diplomacy and legitimate regional and international arbitration mechanisms, as well as the adoption of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that represents the interests of all parties and promotes peace and stability in the region;

(13)

urges all claimants involved in maritime and territorial disputes in the Indo-Pacific region to—

(A)

cease any current activities, and avoid undertaking any actions in the future that undermine stability or complicate or escalate disputes through the use of coercion, intimidation, or military force;

(B)

demilitarize islands, reefs, shoals, and other features, and refrain from new efforts to construct new garrisons and facilities or relocate military personnel, material, or equipment;

(C)

oppose actions by any country that prevent other countries from exercising their sovereign rights to the resources in their exclusive economic zones and extended continental shelves by enforcing claims to those areas in the South China Sea that lack support in international law;

(D)

oppose unilateral declarations of administrative and military districts in contested areas in the South China Sea; and

(E)

refrain from unilateral actions that cause permanent physical damage to the marine environment;

(14)

recognizes that ASEAN, as a regional organization with a security mission, plays an important role in maintaining peace and stability in the Southeast Asian region and supports the assistance of the Department of Defense to build ASEAN’s institutional capacity to collectively address regional security challenges;

(15)

supports cooperation between the United States, ASEAN, and individual ASEAN member states to—

(A)

enhance maritime capability and maritime domain awareness;

(B)

protect freedom of navigation, overflight, and other lawful uses of the seas in the Indo-Pacific region;

(C)

counter piracy and disrupt illicit maritime trafficking of persons, goods, or narcotics; and

(D)

enhance the capabilities of countries or regional organizations to respond to emerging risks to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region;

(16)

reaffirms the commitment of the United States to continue joint efforts to halt human smuggling and trafficking in persons, and urges ASEAN to create and strengthen regional mechanisms to provide assistance and support to refugees and migrants;

(17)

supports the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative as an example of a people-to-people partnership that provides skills, networks, and leadership training to a new generation who will create and fill jobs, foster cross-border cooperation and partnerships, and rise to solve the regional and global challenges of the future;

(18)

encourages the enhancement of economic engagement between the United States and ASEAN through the elimination of trade barriers; and

(19)

supports innovative programs to promote development and sustainable growth in Southeast Asia, including the Mekong-United States Partnership and United States-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership, and urges the continued development of such programs, responsive to local needs, in coordination with United States allies and partners.